Today was quite an adventure. I slept poorly, so I was unhappy and tense all night. I had to wait for my new prescription to fill at Target for thirty minutes–and for the full thirty minutes, a little girl screamed and wailed and kicked and shrieked about something stupid, while her mother gave her half-hearted stop-thats. And then we realized we’d forgotten something, so I, in my tired cranky state, had to walk to the store to pick it up. I picked up a snapple iced tea–my only treat so far in an otherwise bleary day. I then, promptly, dropped it when I got home, scattering fake glass shards everywhere.
Tl;dr — I’m in a foul mood.
The perfect time to start recapping Eclipse, wouldn’t you say?
New Moon left us with several things to ponder.
Would Bella convince herself to settle for Jacob, in an effort to make him “happy”–by which we all assume means she would continue to use and manipulate him, only they’ll totes be getting married and having 2.5 children to go with it?
Would Edward be able to side-step the (hastily cobbled-together) treaty Jacob’s family defends, give Bella her (flamboyantly selfish) wish of becoming one of the beautiful dead? Would Edward even give it an honest try, or hide behind Jacob’s lukewarm threats as an excuse to not give Bella phenomenal supernatural power, so he can continue controlling her life?
Could Stephenie Meyer have possibly been more obvious in her desperate, pathetic wish to be Isabella Marie Swan?
Will Rachel ever forgive herself for remembering what Bella’s middle name is?
I’m fairly certain Eclipse will neatly avoid answering all of these questions. Except for maybe the last two. Ugh, seriously, of all the things to stick in my brain.
So there’s a prologue. The last two books had prologues as well–there’s a very good reason I didn’t recap them, and that is that these prologues accomplish nothing. The preface of New Moon consisted of Bella running dramatically, and the sun being bright, and a clock tolling. I’m not sure why it even exists, other than to express a falsehood–the prologue tries desperately to be exciting, whereas the rest of the book is content to flop languidly somewhere between “dull” and “is there something on the Golf Channel I could watch instead?”
Anyway, this preface vaguely suggests that there’s a fight going on somewhere, and there’s “black eyes” watching Bella, and a wolf howls.
YEAH THAT’S IT. Is she just trying to bump up word count or something? Is this really the only way she knows how to foreshadow?
Forget this, on to the first chapter.
We are greeted by a new font (every time someone hand-writes something, we absolutely must have a new font, so we can know what their handwriting looks like!!), and several paragraphs scratched out. After a few crossed-out paragraphs of passive-aggression, Jacob finally decides on “Yeah, I miss you too. A lot. Doesn’t change anything. Sorry.”
Why the hell didn’t he just grab a new piece of paper?
Bella cradles the thing like it’s a love letter from her husband in Iraq. Apparently she and Jacob are passing notes via their fathers. Are the injuns too poor for email or something? Bella whines for a while about how Jacob’s pain is her pain, and I find it difficult to feel sorry for her.
Charlie is trying to cook. Apparently he has never, um, read a book, or something, because he put something metal in the microwave. Cue wacky sitcom music and canned laughter! Oh Dad you should know by now to leave the cooking to the women. His attempt at spaghetti is a lumpy mush. How the hell did he even feed himself before Bella arrived if he can’t make freaking spaghetti?
Also, Edward. Bella is still prissy as all get out over using the word “fiancée,” which makes just as much sense as it did in the previous book. Edward is only allowed to see her from seven to nine-thirty, because she is totes grounded. But he also sees her at school. And then sneaks into her room at night. So um, way to go on that grounding, Dad. Somewhere in this explanation is the longest sentence I think I have ever seen–
Ever since my former best friend (and werewolf), Jacob Black, had informed on me about the motorcycle I’d been riding on the sly–a betrayal he had devised in order to get me grounded so that I couldn’t spend time with my boyfriend (and vampire), Edward Cullen–Edward had been allowed to see me only from seven till nine-thirty p.m. [sic], always inside the confines of my home and under the supervision of my dad’s unfailingly crabby glare.
Check it out, kids–seventy-seven words long, two parenthetical asides, one set of hyphens, and two adverbs. This must have been after Stephenie realized she was too good for an editor, and all she needed was a publicist.
Actually, I’m fairly certain the first half of this chapter could be easily summed up in one big mama run-on sentence.
Back to the dynamic dialogue! Charlie reads the news, and is angry. Seattle had five unsolved homicides in the last two weeks! HORRORS. This is actually because of vampires but we don’t know it yet.
Bella takes a moment to Make This All About Her and thinks about how many different people want to kill her. This makes her tremble in fear, because she is strong and independent.
Charlie finally gets around to the point and talks to her about her friends. Apparently she doesn’t see them. Shocker! Charlie is willing to ease up on her grounded-ness if she promises to actually, you know, go see people, instead of spending every waking moment with her creepy boyfriend. Yeah yeah, whatever, sure, I promise. He says something about how “for a teenager, you’re amazingly non-whiny,” which makes me laugh until I choke.
P.S. The reason Bella has less friends now is because Lauren and Jessica don’t like her, and have an “anti-Bella agenda.” We are supposed to think they are both major bitches because they don’t like Bella. Never mind that they both dislike Bella for very valid reasons.
Um, this goes on for a few pages. I wonder if Stephenie is trying to address complaints that Bella has no life outside her possessive controlling boyfriend? Or if she really just thinks I want to read six pages of Bella’s father going “Make some friends, dammit!”
The conversation finally ends. Bella gets her mail, which includes a letter of acceptance to University of Alaska Southeast–chosen specifically because Juneau has an average of 321 overcast days a year. Ew. Charlie opened it first, which is lol a crime.
Then, the moment you’ve all been waiting for arrives–Edward shows up. And he’s miraculous, with perfect pale skin, a square jaw, full lips, sharp cheekbones, a (uh) marbley forehead, and rain-darkened bronze hair.
Also he’s cold and dead, manipulative, and devoid of any personality. But we get three paragraphs describing how beautiful he is, so I guess I’d better respond with ~*he’s so dreamy*~
They touch each other and gaze into their eyes and then Charlie shows up and ruins everything.
Edward has brought a set of college applications as their front. Charlie asks where Edward has been accepted to, and he’s all “Oh, you know. Syracuse. Harvard. Dartmouth. University of Alaska Southwest.”
And Charlie doesn’t even bat an eye dear Lord.
Edward mentions something about going shopping, and Charlie freaks out about Bella going to Seattle. I would make a comment about how big Seattle is and how unlikely it is she’d run into the new vampire serial killer who mysteriously drains every body of blood, but… well, this is Bella we’re talking about here, and she’d probably go wandering unsupervised through back alleys the first chance she got.
Edward wouldn’t have taken her to Seattle anyway. He was thinking Portland. Four and a half hours away. God, it must suck to live in Forks.
Jesus, this just keeps going. Bella decides she doesn’t want to fill out the Dartmouth application, and goes to crumple it up and throw it away. Edward snatches it away from her, and announces that he signs her name better than she does anyway. That’s right. He’s forging her signature on the applications to colleges he wants her to go to. I don’t care if you think it’s sweet that he’s trying so hard to get her into Dartmouth. If you think Edward is chivalrous then you are wrong.
Bella doesn’t even think twice about this, neither about how creepy it is nor controlling he can be. Oh, Edward, you’re just trying way too hard for her sake!
This is also the first time we ever–ever–hear about new vampires. Apparently, they are ravenous beasts with no self-control. That’s funny. I seem to recall Alice’s backstory involving her calmly having visions about Jasper and then going to find him. But maybe we’ll retcon that now that something new has come in and overridden everything.
Anyway, guess what, Edward confirms that the killings in Seattle are being done by a new vampire. But the Cullens, apparently, don’t give a crap–it’s not their territory and it’s not their business. That’s just downright compassionate of Carlisle, wouldn’t you agree?
They talk about going somewhere safe to eat animals, just the two of them. Edward mentions how awesome wolves taste, and Bella gets all panicky. Jacob is having a hard time right now, and it’s all her fault! Edward tries to tell her it isn’t, while the rest of us go “YES IT IS.”
When Bella brings up that Charlie’s condition for her not being grounded is she needs to be friends with Jacob again, Edward throws a fit. It’s “out of the question.” It would “break the treaty.” Does she want to start a war? There’s no point in discussing this.
What just happened?
He tries to change the subject to Wuthering Heights (the first book I’ve ever seen Bella read in the whole of this series), and she changes it back. He absolutely will not let her see Jacob. No discussion. No compromise. He then goes back to his favorite tactic–blaming all the bad things that happen on her, since she is a “trouble magnet.”
And then we get three more pages of him telling her which friends she can and can’t see, culminating in this:
He kissed the top of my head and sighed.
“I’m not going along with that. I have to see Jacob.”
“Then I’ll have to stop you.”
He sounded utterly confident that this wouldn’t be a problem.
I was sure he was right.
Ohhhhh he’s sooooooooo protective of her, trying to save her from the big bad werewolf that has never actually done anything to hurt her and was, in fact, a better friend to her than Edward has ever been. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the misogyny inherent in these amazing, brilliant books. Telling her which friends she can and can’t see certainly isn’t a symptom of abuse, and Edward is really very chivalrous in protecting her from things she doesn’t need protection from, and, in fact, without her even asking!
Edward Creep-o-meter: (Where one is “Take him home to meet Dad Charlie,” and ten is “change the locks, get a pit bull, file a restraining order, and buy a taser”) Seven